Royal Fleet Auxiliary

Ministry of Defence written question – answered on 19th June 2018.

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Photo of Luke Pollard Luke Pollard Labour/Co-operative, Plymouth, Sutton and Devonport

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether bids from (a) EU and (b) non-EU bidders for the RFA Solid Support Ship contract will have to demonstrate compliance with EU state aid rules.

Photo of Guto Bebb Guto Bebb The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence

European Union (EU) laws governing state aid do not apply to activity conducted outside the boundaries of the EU, however, the Ministry of Defence (MOD) makes no such distinction and treats all bidders who participate in its competitions equally.

State aid is generally prohibited under the Treaty of the Functioning of the EU, apart from under a few specific exemptions stipulated by legislation. Under EU and UK law, the mechanism available to the MOD for addressing state aid concerns is through the concept of an abnormally low tender, related to a specific competitive procurement. The MOD has the right to reject a tender if a grant of aid was not in accordance with EU and UK law.

The MOD takes open competition very seriously and is confident in the measures in place to ensure that the Fleet Solid Support ships' competitive process is conducted strictly in accordance with the EU regulations on state aid.

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